The State of California is facing litigation because it hasn’t been able to ramify the inflating homelessness issue at the pace that it needs to. A number of cities across the state could see the same treatment that Los Angeles is facing as advocate alliances pressure leaders to pick up the pace.
“A California Democrat has proposed a bill that would require cities to sharply reduce homelessness by the end of the decade as the state with the nation’s largest unhoused population faces criticism that its approach to the issue is disjointed, expensive and ineffective.”CoStar
San Francisco Assemblymember David Chiu introduced Bill 816, which ensures city governments will be held accountable for addressing the homelessness issue. The bill also places a timeline on the matter that could make tracking progress easier. Plain and simple, cities must have a proposed plan of action by 2023 that will effectively reduce homelessness by 90%.
Although we are in the earliest of stages for this bill, it represents a clear-cut initiative to tackle a nation-leading problem. California holds the highest amount of people without shelter, yet also has the nation’s highest average rents and housing prices.
“State and local governments need to be rowing in the same direction toward the same goal if we are ever to see a significant reduction in homelessness,” Chiu said in a statement. “Homelessness is the moral crisis of our time, and this bill ensures governments at all levels are responsible for addressing it.”
California has spent a considerable amount of capital in the battle against homelessness over the last several years. The pandemic may have setback its efforts by years, therefore, it’s no surprise that the number of unsheltered has risen to more than 151,000. In order for AB-816 to be successful, a thorough assessment and inventory of all the homelessness programs in the state will need to be conducted.
“At least nine state agencies administer and oversee 41 different programs that provide funding to mitigate homelessness, yet no single entity oversees the State’s efforts or is responsible for developing a statewide strategic plan.”
In other words, states are told what to do but nobody is watching over to ensure that it’s actually getting done. Homelessness efforts have been hindered by the ostensible. However, real estate groups are stepping up to the task.
“Developer RMG Housing plans to eventually build 1,800 housing units primarily in Los Angeles to battle the city’s growing homeless population of more than 41,000 people that has been exacerbatedby the ongoing pandemic.”
Chiu’s bill would require a number of things to happen including a new inspector general position. The outline of the plan differs from New York’s “right to shelter,” policy where private groups and citizens could sue the government to provide housing. Under AB-816 only the state could bring legal action to municipalities.